Monkeypox vaccine maker studies 24-hour emergency production

BAvarian Nordic A/S, the only company with an approved monkeypox vaccine, said it is preparing to run production overnight to meet rising demand after the outbreak was announced. global emergency.

outbreak of monkeypox, which has spread to about 16,000 people in more than 70 countries in just a few months, the head of the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern over the weekend. This is the highest level of alert aimed at mobilizing more resources globally to curb the outbreak and is the first such ruling since the coronavirus began sweeping the world.

Read more: Why is it so hard to get vaccinated against monkeypox now

Whatever demand we face, we expect to meet it with our own resources,” Rolf Sass Sorensen, head of investor relations for Bavaria, said by phone. “One very straightforward solution is to run our production facility overnight and get more people involved in shifts.”

The Danish vaccine maker can produce 30 million doses a year and has not yet rejected any orders from governments seeking to protect their populations. Sorensen said the drug company is already working longer hours now, and night shifts and other adjustments will increase production to more than 30 million, but declined to provide a specific number.

The Bavarian company said earlier on Monday that its Imvanex vaccine now has permission to label it monkeypox And another disease caused by the vaccine virus in Europe. The nomenclature extension follows similar permits in Canada and the United States. The stock is up as much as 10% in early trading in Copenhagen and has jumped more than 150% since the outbreak.

Peter Verdault, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote in a note that the WHO’s decision “raises the possibility of further government orders for Imvanex, the only currently available vaccine.” He estimated that at least 50% of a Bavarian’s production capacity could be devoted to this shot, and said Bavaria could get about $100 per shot on average.

Read more: Why shouldn’t everyone take baxlovid?

Sorensen said Bavaria has the ability to contract with other producers to make the vaccine, but that it “will take a lot of time and be expensive, so we’re trying to avoid that.” He also said it was highly unlikely that governments would issue mandatory licenses to allow other manufacturers to manufacture the vaccine through their own channels.

“The product is not something that can be easily copied, so it is highly unlikely that anyone but us will be able to rapidly ramp up production of a vaccine,” he said. “It is not a standard type of product that can be copied; you need a lot of experience for a vaccine to work. I would say it is an art form.”

– With the help of James Cone.

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